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Willows Montessori Nursery

Learning and Development

Children’s learning and development as set out in the Statutory Framework is defined in seven areas of learning, each area with its own unique aspects. The following details each area and how this is supported in a Montessori nursery.

Prime Areas

Areas of Learning and Development and aspects How our Montessori practice supports this area of learning
Communication and Language
  • Listening and Attention
  • Understanding
  • Speaking

We offer a language rich environment with many opportunities to enjoy books, stories, songs, rhymes and poems. We use Makaton with all children; singing and signing is an important part of our day! Children are listened to and learn how to listen, as well as being encouraged to talk and use a wide range of language to communicate their thoughts, ideas and feelings. We introduce children to many new words and different languages (French).

Physical Development
  • Moving and handling
  • Health and self-care

Children have access to a safe indoor and outdoor environment. We help to develop children’s fine motor skills with Montessori activities such as pouring, transferring, threading, sewing, polishing and building. Children learn to use real tools such as scissors, screwdrivers, hammers etc. Children's gross motor skills are developed through balancing,running, carrying, transporting, digging, sweeping and more.

Children have constant access to drinking water, learning to understand what their body needs to stay healthy. We have “self-care” stations in our classrooms; encouraging children to be independent whilst looking in the mirror and using a tissue to wipe their own noses or a face cloths to clean their own face. We help children to understand the importance of physical activity and to make healthy choices in relation to food and personal hygiene.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development.
  • Making relationships
  • Sense of self
  • Understanding emotions

Children are supported in developing a positive sense of themselves and others, to form positive relationships and develop respect for others. They develop social skills, sharing, turn taking and appropriate behaviour in groups. Children learn how to take good care of themselves and others, they learn to care for their environment, the plants in our nursery garden and the nursery rabbits.

Specific Areas of Learning and Development

Areas of Learning and Development and aspects How our Montessori practice supports this area of learning
  • Reading
  • Writing

This involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials such as books, poems, environmental print etc to ignite their interest. They have many opportunities to use their hands and fingers for mark making, they develop an effective way of holding a pencil and with use of the insets for design and sandpaper letters develop the skills to begin to form recognisable letters and words. With the use of objects, pictures and the large moveable alphabet children go on to build words and make connections between reading and writing.

  • Mathematics

Children are given opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting and making connections between numbers and quantity, recognising number symbols and being able to name shapes. They are shown how to calculate simple addition and subtraction problems and are introduced to size and measuring.

Understanding the World
  • People and communities
  • The world
  • Technology

Children are guided into making sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

They gain an understanding of life on planet earth through hands on activities about continents, elements and the solar system. They learn about different cultures and beliefs through artifacts, stories, games and music. We celebrate festivals and events from other cultures and encourage a culture of inclusivity by educating children about faiths, cultures and families that are different to their own. They learn about their local environment through outings to the local area and Forest School.

Expressive Arts and Design
  • Creating with materials
  • Being imaginative and expressive

This involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design and technology.

Children have constant free access to art and craft materials for painting, drawing, cutting, sticking and model making. They are encouraged to find creative ways of expressing their ideas and feelings and are supported by teachers who understand that children’s creativity is about the process and not the end product. Children are encouraged to join in with role play, dance, music and movement activities and are introduced to a wide range of musical instruments.